2016 Rabun County Wildfires

November 14, 2016

Scroll down for updated information

Winds are picking up and temperatures cooling as a front passes through this weekend, November 19th.  Tate City has a firebreak and back-burns surrounding, so some of the tension has eased in that part of Rabun County experiencing the Rock Mountain Fire.  As southwest winds pickup, flames push to the northeast prompting pre-evacuation warnings in the area of Betty’s Creek and Patterson Gap.  The north side of this fire is some really remote country with few roads and trails, so it seems the biggest challenge remains there.


We had a trace of rain Sunday morning the 13th, but it wasn’t nearly enough to give any relief to firefighters trying to control three large fires apparently set by arson in Rabun County.  The Burrells Ford Fire (now 100% contained) is burning eastern Rabun County near the Chattooga River in the Satolah Community.  The Rock Mountain Fire was set on Tallulah River Road and spread to Coleman River area and Plum Orchard.  The Timber Bluff Fire is contained and being monitored off Highway 76 East past Kingwood between Claude Smith Road and Wolf Creek Road to the south.  The U.S. Forest Service firefighting teams have set up a command center in Clayton.  Helicopters are staged at the intersection of Bridge Creek Road and Charlie Mountain Road.  Firefighters from northwest U.S. are housed and fed at Camp Ramah Darom in Persimmon.

All of northeast Georgia looks and smells like a campfire.  Air quality has been terrible depending on the wind direction.  Supermoon and daytime sun both have a haunting appearance with the looks of an all-day sunset.  The smoke has been so thick at times the mountains are completely invisible.  Walking through a sale at Lake Burton prior to closing last week we couldn’t even see the other side of the lake.  Smoke from north Georgia fires has affected as far south as Macon, Georgia.

The Clayton Tribune has the best updated coverage on the Rabun County wildfire response.

11/16/2016 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article

Fantastic interactive map showing real-time location of wildfires


Sunday 11/20/2016 operational briefing


Saturday 11/19/2016 operational briefing


11/18/2016 operational briefing


11/17/2016 operational briefing




Liberty Baptist Church assisting firefighters.  Donation items needed:

Protein bars

Slim Jims

Beef Jerky


Lubricating eye drops (individuals – small)

Hand Warmers

Hard Candy

Cough Drops

Trail Mix/Nuts



Granola Bars

Drum Bags (Black Plastic)

Ziploc Bags (Sandwich, Snack, Gallon Bags)

Peanut Butter Crackers/ Cheese Crackers


News updates from Channel 11 Atlanta, Fox 5 Atlanta, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

There are 22 active fires in North Caorlina to the north in North Carolina.

Sections of the Appalachian Trail have been closed, and the Bartram Trail is closed between Wine Springs Bald and Nantahala Lake.


Scott Poss flew around Rabun on Saturday November 12, 2016.  Here’s his GoPro footage with narration.  Thanks Scott!

Pray for rain, we really need it.  If you see someone setting a fire please call 911.